Steep Drop in Pot Cases Has Freed Up Resources
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Steep Drop in Pot Cases Has Freed Up Resources
Posted by CN Staff on March 20, 2014 at 05:55:43 PT
By Gene Johnson, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Washington State -- A steep drop in charges filed against adults over 21 in Washington state after legalization of marijuana shows the new law is freeing up court and law-enforcement resources to deal with other issues, a primary backer of the law said Wednesday.The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found that such low-level charges were filed in just 120 cases in 2013, down from 5,531 cases the year before. “The data strongly suggest that I-502 has achieved one of its primary goals — to free up limited police and prosecutorial resources,” Mark Cooke, criminal-justice policy counsel with the state ACLU, said in a news release.
Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff at the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said that hasn’t been the case in his office. He said prosecutors handled only a few misdemeanor pot cases a day before the law went into effect.“There’s no great relief of workload,” Goodhew said. “All this has meant is maybe our calendar in District Court in the Seattle division is maybe, instead of 46 cases in a day, 44 or 43 or 42. We’re no longer filing misdemeanor marijuana cases, but we were not expending any significant resources on those cases at the time I-502 passed.”Cooke conceded the law hasn’t fundamentally changed what prosecutors do every day but said when considered more broadly, I-502 has saved resources, from basic investigation and filing of paperwork to court time. He noted King County’s adult misdemeanor pot cases fell from 1,435 in 2009 to 14 last year.“I can’t fault their logic,” said Mitch Barker, executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. “If we took speeding off the books, that would free up time. If we took robbery off the books, that would free up time.“The question we all have to look at is, is it good public policy? My sole concern is that when you expand access to marijuana for adults, you expand access for underage people.”The pot cases that were filed in the state last year likely involved people caught with more than an ounce of weed, or the 28 grams, they’re allowed to have under Washington’s Initiative 502, but less than the 40 grams that can trigger felony possession charges.The data, which came from Washington’s Administrative Office of the Courts, also suggest racial disparities remain a concern in marijuana charges, Cooke said.Before I-502’s passage in 2012, blacks were nearly three times as likely as whites to face misdemeanor marijuana-possession charges in Washington, and that remained true among the 120 cases filed last year, he said. Of the 120, white defendants accounted for 82 cases and blacks for 11. That equated for whites to 2 cases per 100,000 residents; for blacks, to 5.6 per 100,000.The number of misdemeanor filings for those older than 21 had been dropping for several years, the group said, from 7,964 in 2009 to 5,531 in 2012. Court filings for all drug felonies, including marijuana growing and selling, have remained fairly constant since 2009, at about or slightly under 20,000.Among people younger than 21, misdemeanor marijuana-possession charges have also fallen in the past two years from 4,127 in 2011 to 3,469 in 2012 and 1,963 last year. People younger than 21 aren’t allowed to have pot under the state law.Source: Associated Press (Wire) Author: Gene Johnson, The Associated PressPublished:  March 19, 2014Copyright: 2014 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on March 22, 2014 at 02:16:21 PT
court injunction lets patients grow medpot!/canada/court-injunction-lets-patients-keep-growing-medical-pot/e0474ee55a3d4fb121a8b47053fd40e1Canadian federal government is reviewing its options. Medical cannabis patients across Canada get a reprieve.
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on March 22, 2014 at 02:06:14 PT
The Bush Bane
Reviewing the WoD we see how this whole debacle escalated to a full scale assault upon the populace at large with special effort toward slamming the black man.The WoD at it's worst was created by G.H.W Bush then escalated under his protégé, Slick Willie.G.H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara are the biggest ducks in the pond, here. In this case, literally. That woman is a mountain of half of a century of gluttonous scarfing on two to five hundred, even a thousand dollars per day it takes to stuff this mammoth full of rich imported and domestic delicacies daily. I have heard that her foray's with food are legendary and it shows. Today she looks like an industrial food wagon with the front end damaged. The food wagon is a might smaller.Bush Sr. had his ducks in a row even before he jacked up the WoD, He pushed legislation for mandatory minimums. He set up UNICORE with his investor/friends,and fat Barb sewed up the prison commissary monopoly which has made for her, $billions.I think they should lock her up in a couple of prison cells or three, even, if that if what it takes to fit her in! Pappy Bush is so low key it is hard for some to see his Machiavellian side, but then that is most of his reason for being such a successful crook. The Bush Family owes this country everything they have and a pound of flesh besides.My Ode to Babs:        If I ate like a bird      
        I still couldn't fly        So I'll eat like a horse        'till the day I die        I'm not very nice        But so what I'm rich        My heart is made of ice        and I'm a stone cold bitch
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on March 21, 2014 at 14:19:34 PT:
It means no more champagne and caviar
Budget-wise, that is. Back to kibble. And that's what they really fear, the loss off revenue - and the power that revenue provides.The long predicted political sea-change is taking place. Those for whom the DrugWar was ostensibly fought have rejected it. They instead want cannabis legal again. And that has got to hurt any LE or prosecutor or hang-'em-high judge, for it takes their life's work and tears it up into little pieces and throws it in their face. The realization is only now starting to sink in that the highly rewarding, profitable jobs and lives they'd planned on living - courtesy of bloated DrugWar budgets and forfeiture theft - are not gonna happen.But something else is also going on in the back of their minds: How will they face all those whose lives they destroyed in the selfish, amoral pursuit of their goals?The cannabists they've harmed. those not in prison or 'extrajudicially' murdered with the sanction of The State, will still be living in the same community. And they have long memories. The Nuremburg Defense ("I vas only vollowing orduhs!") is no defense. I see a hard time coming for all prohibs, but especially for those on the LE side of things. Ten tons of steaming hot crow is being prepared for a future meal for them, and having been on the short, sharp and dirty end of the stick they've poked us with for the past 4 decades, I don't feel like being generous with the ketchup they'll need to scarff it down...
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on March 20, 2014 at 14:00:42 PT
5,531 down to 120 is what cops fear.
just 120 cases in 2013, down from 5,531 cases.-0-So this is what cops and their unions are worried about.Every time a cop speaks out against ending cannabis prohibition, these numbers should be exposed!SELFSERVANTS.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 20, 2014 at 10:47:10 PT
Greed: I want more because I want more. What a terribly sad emotion Greed is.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on March 20, 2014 at 09:37:35 PT
Human's can't get enough!
Greed causes us to pursue that which we are not entitled too! 
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on March 20, 2014 at 08:48:38 PT
Baby steps!
Soon, very soon, every man woman and child in this country will know the whole truth about cannabis/hemp prohibition; that the government they have unquestionably allowed to lead without showing any real checks and balances. Not even evidence or proof of any kind for anything. The fed have by and large been able to run amuck in our society doing any number off dastardly deeds, implementing their self rewarding, self empowering policies for a century now and the mess we see is the end of result of "The People" relinquishing their responsibility to the snakes and foxes in high government.For more than seventy years now the fed have blatantly acted as a hired gun to protect the mega industries run by mega-wealthy, out of touch, sociopaths. We now see how far they are willing to go to protect their wealth and power and they have been criminal about it. They should pay! Every major corporation that lobbied for prohibition, every federal funded organization, and especially the worst military police force since Shicklegrubber's Brown Shirt's, the DEA. All should be tried Nuremberg style, fined and put away.Restitution needs to be paid to us innocents who have suffered under this national crime. "The leaders now are soon to be last, 'cause the time's they are a changin'"
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